Hi. Okay it's been a tough couple of days. I had my steroid injections in my knees today and it is sooooooo painful, but yesterday was far worse. I got on a bus from my town centre. It's about ten minutes journey from my house. I use a walking stick and a shopping trolley because my hands are really sore. The driver had parked at an angle so I wouldn't have been able to wheel my trolley on. I said to him politely "oh you've parked at a bit of an angle I'm going to struggle to get on." His response "and that's my problem because?" I ended up having to lift the trolley up which really hurt. I said to him "actually it is your problem because you are supposed to help passengers with disabilities it's the law." I asked him for his badge number but he refused to give it to me. And shouted at me to "move the other passengers have to get on."
I put my trolley into the wheelchair bay and sat down. There was one pushchair but it was in the pushchair bay. The bus started and I heard a woman a few seats behind me saying "she shouldn't have a trolley there. It's for pushchairs, she'll have to move. If another pushchair gets on I'll make her move." I was a bit upset and frightened but ignored her. Two stops later quite a few people got on and then a woman with another pushchair. The woman sat behind said loudly "now move, you have to move." I ignored her and explained to the woman that I have arthritis and couldn't fit my trolley anywhere else. She was okay with that and put her pushchair next to the first one. Both mothers were even able to sit down. But I could hear the woman behind constantly saying things like "how rude she should move." and "that's for pushchairs it's the pushchair space lazy cow." this went on for about 7 or 8 more stops. We got to the stop before mine and yet another woman got on with a pushchair. She got on and glared at me and said "you have to move." Again deep breath "I said "I can't. I have arthritis, it hurts my hands and other joints. I need to sit here." The woman behind me was practically having kittens "you lazy cow, move" etc
The woman with the pushchair didn't fold it she stayed in the aisle. We got to my stop and when the bus stopped I stood up. Then a woman walked past me and said to woman with pushchair no3 "oh I think Mrs Selfish wants to get off now." I was holding my walking stick, she could see I have disabilities. I said "I am not selfish I have arthritis and this is the wheelchair bay not the pushchair bay and I was here ages ago." I couldn't get my trolley off with pushchair no3 in the aisle so had to say "if you back up then I can get off and you can have the space then." She tutted and sighed and said "you shouldn't have been in the pushchair aisle." I was really upset now and the woman behind me was off again. I said loudly as the woman was backing up to let me off. "I am not selfish or lazy. I have arthritis. I was not sat in the pushchair bay I was sat in the wheelchair bay and as I have a disability I needed it more than you. Having a disability isn't a choice, having a child is. You could fold your pushchair up. I can't do that with my arthritis. And I was here first." She responded "having a child isn't a choice it's a privilege" Not sure what her point was on that one. But the bus left and I felt like I had been torn apart by a pack of wolves.
I felt like I shouldn't have been on the bus. Like I had no right to be there. But I did. And I was shouted at and called names and all I did was sit in a seat meant for disabled people and not move out of it when I couldn't.
Has anyone else been treated like this. I really hope not. Otherwise what was the Equality Act for?